The latest documentary from William Paterson University Professor Emeritus of Sociology Vince Parrillo, “Paterson: A Delicious Destination”—a look at the City of Paterson through restaurants past and present—won Director's Choice at the 10th annual Northeast Film Festival.
His fifth film on the City of Paterson, Parrillo’s latest release begins with a brief look at bygone Paterson restaurants—Alexander Hotel Restaurant, Bonfire, The Fat Man, Falls View Grill, Johnny & Hanges, L’Ombrella, Meyer Brothers Restaurant, Scordato’s and The Tree Tavern. During its look back, the film includes a narrative about Jimmy Durante’s brother opening the Lido Venice restaurant where the gig of house band was given to Lou Costello’s brother. Many celebrities went to the restaurant, including Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason, Lou Costello, Gypsy Rose Lee, Ginger Rogers, and Henny Youngman.
The 52-minute film then brings viewers into the present, visiting many ethnic restaurants that attract city and suburban visitors alike, including those with Armenian, Colombian, Dominican, Italian, Jamaican, Lebanese, Mexican, Palestinian, Peruvian, and Turkish backgrounds.
City officials, including City of Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, Passaic County Historian Edward Smyk, and professional chef Kassandra Gutierrez show the many places and menu offerings to enjoy. Animated maps and street scenes show the viewer where to find these dining places and where to park.
The film was shot by William Paterson University staff, Interviews were filmed in campus television studios, and Rod Holliday, of WP’s Center for Instructional and Research Technology served as technical director and assistant producer.
Parrillo, who was raised in Paterson, is executive producer, writer, and narrator of six award-winning PBS television documentaries, most of which focus on the City of Paterson. A Fulbright scholar and internationally recognized expert of immigration, Parrillo is also the author of two critically acclaimed historical novels about Ellis Island and has published numerous textbooks on immigration and diversity.
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